Best Hearing Protection For Duck Hunting
In a hurry?
If you need ear muffs for duck hunting, and do not want to read the entire artivle, below are my recommended ear protection.
|SureFire EP4 Sonic Defenders Plus filtered Earplugs, triple...||876 Reviews||Check Price|
|Howard Leight by Honeywell Impact Sport Sound Amplification...||15,589 Reviews||Check Price|
|Peltor Sport Tactical 100 Electronic Hearing Protector, Ear...||1,033 Reviews||Check Price|
|Walker's Silencer Digital Earbuds, Sound Activated...||193 Reviews||Check Price|
So hunting season is here again, your shotgun is clean and ready, you have a supply of ammunition, and you are prepared to go. Your buddy calls you asking if you have a spare safety vest, and while you are talking to him, you realize that you can’t hear him that well! Or maybe you hear a faint ringing sound? If you are a hunter and still have perfect hearing, then you are one of the lucky ones! Hi-visibility jackets are not the only essential safety item when hunting, or doing any kind of shooting. You also need hearing protection, and that is precisely what we are going to discuss in this article
When you are shooting, you need to get the right sort of ear protection. It is not the same as when you are on a range or doing something more organized like skeet shooting. There can be people where you don’t expect them, so being able to hear what is going on in the environment, even with ear protection, is essential – hearing commands and warnings clearly, and to a lesser extent being able to hear those ducks is also vital.
Note. When refering to duck hunting ear protection, it is the same for any waterfowl hearing protection
Guns are Loud: Save Your Hearing
Best Ear Protection For Duck Hunting
I know a great deal about hearing protection, as I left it too late and have bad tinnitus now. This can never be cured, so I am going to have to live with ringing in my ears for the rest of my life. But you don’t have to. I have done all the research on hearing protection – including when duck hunting, and put together all of my findings in this post. Just keep reading, and in a few minutes you will know the answers to all the essential questions, and will be able to save your hearing – Oh, and don’t forget about your dog’s ears!
Why Protect The Ears When Firing A Gun
As I am sure everyone knows, guns are loud – REALLY loud, and loud noises damage hearing. Usually, this damage to hearing is slow, and it takes several years before there are any noticeable problems. But guns are so loud, that hearing damage can be immediate
When you are shooting duck, you really need the best ear protection. As a hunter, you probably know a few people who shoot regularly and have hearing difficulties. This does not need to be a problem, and ear muffs do not need to be too expensive to make your hearing last your entire life. But you do need to wear ear protection when hunting, and you need the right type of protection
Hunting & Occupational Hearing Loss – SLUCare Audiology
Duck Hunting Hearing Protection
Ear plugs for shooting activities
When shooting, there are really three types of plug available, depending on the situation:
You want plugs that stop all of the sound, or as much noise as possible. On a shooting range, people are firing, and standing in set places, so there is little chance of someone being accidentally shot? So hearing instructions is less critical.
There will be many people shooting, so hearing can be damaged very quickly. In this situation, you are best with cheap disposable foam earplugs, with a good quality pair of ear muffs over the top for double protection.
This would not be a good choice of hearing protection for the times you are shooting duck
Skeet Shooting (Clay pigeon shooting).
In this situation, people are going to again be in set positions. So hearing protection is more important than hearing instructions and the environment. You will be looking around a lot for the targets so that earmuffs may get in the way.
For this type of shooting, a pair of in-ear custom molded ear plugs are probably the best solution. These fit your ear perfectly, blocking most of the sound.
These are the cheaper plugs and stop all sound indiscriminately. They are perfect for places like shooting ranges where there are a lot of shots being fired, as they are better at protecting your hearing.
Hunting (Including Duck Hunting).
When hunting, you do not want to be wearing muffs that are so effective that you cannot hear what is going on in the environment around you. Anyone who is firing and cannot hear instructions, commands, or shouts of danger, is a risk to everyone in the area, as well as themselves.
The number of shots over a period of time is usually much lower than on a shooting range. So the importance of plugs that allow you to hear instructions is of paramount importance! That’s why here you need plugs that will enable you to hear, but suppress most of the extreme noise that occurs when a gun is fired so that is it not damaging. These come in electronic form, or plastic with a small hole.
The electronic versions are much better, and have a significant advantage over noise-blocking plugs, or wearing no plugs at all. They work in a similar way to the more common noise-canceling headphones. The muffs you are wearing still block out as much of the sound as they can, but there is a microphone fitted to each earmuff. This records the sounds and plays them back into a speaker in the muffs. When a deafening sound is detected that could damage hearing is identified, it is not replayed to the speaker. (You will hear it anyway as it is so loud) Or it is played back at a much lower volume that will now not cause any damage
How fast gunfire damages your hearing
As everyone knows, guns are loud. Susan E. Terry, Au.D, an audiologist says
“Gunfire is about the worst thing you can do to your unprotected ears. Gunfire is impact noise and is more of an assault on your ears than a constant noise would be. Anytime you’ve got impact noise. You’re going to have issues.”
For example, a typical gun is a 12-gauge shotgun. It is recommended that in your work, you should wear hearing protection if the volume is an average of 85 decibels. For a quick single sound, about 120dB is considered by most to be safe. A 12-gauge is over 150dB!
“A single blast can cause lasting hearing loss and tinnitus. Once the damage is done, there’s no taking it back.”
Exposure to noises more higher than 140 dB can immediately and permanently damage your hearing. Almost every firearm will be louder than this with large-bore rifles going up to 175dB.
So you can see how important it is to get the best earplugs when duck hunting!
It can affect your life! One hunter said –
“I had a great job offer come up, but couldn’t pass the physical due to my hearing. I’m only 30, can’t imagine how bad it will be if I don’t get serious about it soon.”
Guns are Loud: Save Your Hearing
Best Earplugs For Duck Hunting
Recommended Earplugs for Duck Hunting
Impact Sport Sound Amplification Electronic Shooting Earmuff
This is my recommended plug for duck hunters. It will not be right for everyone; we all are different and have varying budgets. Should you not like these muffs, I also recommend the best in earplugs, and non-electronic plugs at both the start and end of the article.
These ear muffs have over 15,000 reviews with an average star rating of 4.5. With this many great independent reviews, you know you will be getting the great hearing protection for when you are hunting ducks
List of Features
- Ambient sound amplification (Hear people talking better)
- Automatic noise-blocking (Stop loud damaging sounds)
- Ultra slim ear cups, padded, adjustable headband (super comfort)
- Folding design (Does not take a lot of space when unused)
- Snap-in ear cushions (Change the cushions to suit)
- AUX Input jack & cord (listen to music or plug-in device)
- NRR: 22 (Reduces loud sounds by 22dB to protect hearing)
Impact Sport Sound Amplification Electronic Earmuffs gives the wearer fantastic ear protection. It will still allow them to hear the environment with great clarity. These ear muffs will amplify quieter sounds up to 85dB distortion-free. Speech and commands will be readily understandable when wearing these ear muffs. Loud noises above 82dB are blocked – you will still hear them, but significantly reduced.
These are designed to be used in the field with comfort, have slim low profile cups for the ears, to keep interference to your shooting to a minimum.
Full Situational Awareness
Directionally placed stereo microphones amplify range commands and environmental sounds to a safe 82 dB
Block Hazardous Sounds
Amplification shuts off at 82 dB, and patented Air Flow Control technology provides optimal noise Reduction across all frequencies.
Ear Muffs for Shooting
Ultra-slim ear cups with cut-out means that they will not get in the way when shooting
Custom Fit for Comfort
Padded and telescoping headband adjusts for a non-slip, comfortable fit.
Small Storage footprint
Folding muffs for quick storage wherever you are
Connect via cable to smartphone MP3 player, or another device.
Snap-on ear pads make a quick, simple replacement and extend the life of the earmuff.
Mutt Muffs For Dogs
Duck Hunting Ear Protection Dogs
People Also Ask
Can shooting a gun cause tinnitus?
Yes – Shooting has caused tinnitus in a lot of people, especially after they have been shooting a while. How long it takes depends on the environment that you are in, and your own ears.
Tinnitus is most common in people who have been exposed to loud noises regularly over a period of time. However, guns are so loud that even a single shot can cause permanent tinnitus
How long will ears ring after shooting a gun?
Ringing in the ear will typically disappear within 1-2 days. The time depends on how loud the sounds were, and the conditions of the ear. In some extreme cases it may take a up to week.
The ringing should slowly seem lower in volume until it has eventually disappeared. However you do not need to worry, as you will be wearing plugs, right?
At what dB level is hearing damaged?
The damage that sound does to your ears is usually expressed in terms of time, and volume. So for example
- Leaf blower – 85dB – 2 hours
- Subway Train – 100dB – 15 minutes
- Shouting in Ear – 110dB – less than 2 minutes
- Standing next to siren – 120db – almost immediate
All firearms can do damage almost immediately, if you are too close, and do not have any ear protection. Below is an infographic showing how long you can be exposed to sounds of different volumes, with examples
Recommended Ear Protection for Hunters – Details
- 24dB Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) with filter caps inserted, Hear safe sound levels (with filter caps out) as if you weren't wearing ear plugs
- Soft, adjustable, triple-flanged stems provide secure seals in ear canals and all-day comfort
- Low-profile design allows you to keep them in place while wearing a mask, helmet, hat, or while using supplemental hearing muffs
- Patented EarLock retention rings utilize seven contact points to lock earpieces in place and fit the same way every time
- Made in USA from hypoallergenic, medical-grade polymer that's soft, durable, and long-lasting
- Built-in directional microphones amplify range commands and other ambient sounds to a safe 82 dB, providing more natural listening and enhanced communication
- Actively listens and automatically shuts off amplification when ambient sound reaches 82 dB; Noise Reduction Rating (NRR): 22
- Features low profile earcups for firearm stock clearance; adjustable headband for secure fit; compact folding design for convenient storage; classic green color
- Includes AUX input and 3.5 mm connection cord for MP3 players and scanners. Integrated power/volume knob
- Includes 2 AAA batteries; automatic shut-off feature after 4 hours increases battery life; approximately 350 hours of battery life; works well and long with Polaroid AAA Batteries
- NRR: 22 dB noise reduction rating
- IDEAL FOR both indoor and outdoor shooters and hunters
- VARIABLE SUPPRESSION TIME reduces echoes indoors
- ADAPTIVE FREQUENCY RESPONSE reduces background noise for clearer conversation and hearing of commands
- DURABLE RECESSED MICROPHONES prevent damage and reduce wind noise
- Left & right ear buds (pair) with independent Volume control deliver digital hearing enhancement and protection
- Sound Activated Compression (SAC) Any sounds over 85dB do not get amplified by the Walker's Silencer, but instead get reduced by 25dB thanks to the SAC ability.
- Include 3 different sizes of foam tips to ensure a tight, secure fit
- Powered by #10 batteries (4 included) 80 hours Battery life (estimated)
- Carry Case included for convenient storing and transport of your Silencer Ear Buds
Conclusion – Best hearing protection for duck hunting
If you intend going duck hunting, and will be exposed to sounds of gunshot, they can damage your hearing very quickly. If you do not want to lose your hearing, then you need to protect it. Hearing muffs do not need to be expensive and will last you a long time if you look after them properly.
Ideally, you need muff that is going to reduce the gunshots to a level that does not damage your hearing, but will still allow you to for reasons of safety.
If you do not wear some form of ear protection, and you damage your hearing, this damage will be with you for the rest of your life, as it is not possible to repair damaged ears!